Signs of change from the solitude of the CP came early in the morning. Suitcases for transport to the next hotel were neatly lined in three long rows in the reception area. All of the tables in the bar were taken at breakfast. The sounds of the coffee machine was on constantly. The servers hustled about.
By 8:30, walkers were like ants roaming the streets of centro sightseeing before following the Camino signs out of town. Within a minute, I was walking with more people than I had on the entire CP. The air was filled with holas, buenos dias, and buon Camino.
As I tried to take it slow, I had to step aside to let people pass. People were courteous but the sheer mass made me yearn for the handful of fellow CP travelers. A few of these new to me Caminoites were alone or in pairs. Most were in larger groups, some with guides. A few started beyond Sarria — the town on the French Way over 100km from Santiago that qualifies a pilgrim for a compestella certificate. They all seemed to be having a good time.
The terrain is a series of gently rolling hills. By noon, I stopped for a small lunch at a bar that is the first refreshment establishment after the start in Melide. It attracted waves of Caminoites. More bars and albergue were less than 400 meters down the road. The town of Arzua is about 1.5 miles further. This route offers more than enough options though who knows in high season.
While finishing up my lunch, I kept seeing walker after walker come down the hill in front of me. Several decided to have a break as I did. I had a throwback memory to my running days when one would watch runners at the end of a race especially a marathon. The finishers kept coming one after another. The parade of walkers was a steady stream for hours.
My day was short. I was in my hotel by 2 PM. I was a bit disappointed; it seemed like I wasted an afternoon. I laid back, made a call to Sharon, and didn’t wake up until almost 6. Perhaps the lingering after effects of the hard hikes on the CP.
Dinner started at 7 with two excellent courses: Sopa Gallegos and braised beef with onions and peppers. Dessert was Galician cheese and spiced apple. Cafe con Leche smoothed an easy day that brought me some more miles closer to Santiago.
BUT I wrote too soon. As I walked up to my room, a bus pulled up. You can imagine the rest of the story.
One thought on “Day 12 (17 May) Mass Migration — 12 Miles”
Unbelievable change with the number of people!! What a difference a day makes! But are ok with traveling solo and enjoying the solitude, so all will be well. Remember the present is a gift!